MADURAI : A week has passed since the death of a Class X boy on school campus, but confusions and contradictions are yet to die away.
When D Saravana Pandian, father of the deceased S Santhosh, allege the delay from the part of the authorities of APT Durairaj Higher Secondary School in taking his 'healthy' son to the hospital was the reason for his death, Investigation Officer and Keeraithurai Police Station Inspector Pethuraj ruled out any such possibility. "We have questioned the school headmaster, teachers and nine classmates of the boy. We have also verified the CCTV footage. We came to know that three months ago, the student had fainted all of sudden and he regained consciousness only after a teacher sprinkled water on his face. On January 13 also he fainted. Though, the PET teacher sprinkled water on his face, he didn't regain consciousness. Immediately they informed their parents," he said, adding the preliminary investigations are over and further probe will be carried out after getting the postmortem examination report.
Meanwhile, Saravana Pandian told TNIE on the ill-fated day (January 13) his son collapsed after the school authorities forced him to shift tables from second floor to the ground floor. "Even after my son fainted, no one took him to the hospital immediately. If they had done that he would not have died," he said.
The bereaved father also claimed when his son fainted three months ago after a quarrel with another student, the school teachers had told the boy not to reveal the incident to parents. "After I came to know about it later, I took him to the hospital and the doctor gave him pain-killers. The school authorities are weaving stories to mask their culpability. Action should be taken against the school management. Such a tragedy should not befall anyone in the future," he said.
Meanwhile, in his letter to Collector Dr S Aneesh Sekar, SFI District Secretary S Vel Deva urged him to issue a circular to all the schools in the district asking the authorities not to engage students in any kind of manual labour.
Director of Thozhamai (an NGO working for Child Rights) A Devaneyan claimed the boy's death was not natural. It is purely an institutional murder. Just getting HM's report from the school is an eye wash," he alleged, urging the State government to take appropriate action against the school management.
Chief Educational Officer R Swaminathan said asking the students to do manual labour is against the rules.